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Young softball team preps for fall season
S-Softball pic 1
Coach Jimmy Pruett gives instructions to his players during last weeks indoor practice. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

The repetitive clank of bats to practice balls in the field house last week matched the repetitive sound of steady rain from bands of Tropical Storm Cindy that reached north Georgia.

Inside, the Dawson County High School softball team worked through stations of hitting drills and agility exercises.

Head Coach Jimmy Pruett, who has been working with the team two days a week ever since school let out, is pleased thus far.

The team finished last year by winning a home play-in game against Fannin to get into the region tournament. They were unable to advance, but played solid softball near the end of the season, ending at 8-15 overall.

Three of the senior leaders-Natalie Glass, Kaila Billingsley and Sydney McGinnis-all signed to play softball at the collegiate level and this year's leadership will fall to a handful of seniors and a group of juniors.

"We have a young team," Pruett said. "We actually have a pretty good blend. We have three seniors, but we have six or seven juniors that have varsity experience, a lot of them starters."

The blend also includes a solid group of freshmen who Pruett says are pushing their upper class counterparts.

"Even though we are young, a lot of these younger girls are pushing some of the older girls," Pruett said. "Some of the freshmen have a chance for some playing time.

"The freshman class-the program needed it. It needed an infusion of good, young talent."

Playing time is always a coveted commodity but especially on long summer days when drills can be monotonous.

Pruett said he plans to schedule some games in July if he can find non-region opponents who have the time to do it.

Last week the team held its first completely indoor practice courtesy of the storm. So the team made due with a series of stations for hitting off tees to work on technique and swing.

"You always have to improvise on these bad weather days," he said. "This is the first time we've been totally indoors. Earlier we had the nets off and we were doing defensive drills. It was pretty cool. We can get a lot done."

The softball season will officially open at 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 5 at Piedmont where Dawson County will face Towns County.